Jehanne's practice log

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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 7 Years ago.

Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
I've been lurking around DhO a few months now after having rekindled my interest in this thing people call meditation. Time to start my own practice log! emoticon

Something about my background: I was participating actively in a diamond way buddhist center for maybe a year around 2009. At the same time I was going through quite a lot of material on buddhism, including the MCTB, which duly impressed me. My practice was daily, maybe an hour or a half a day. I participated a few day retreat during this time (phowa) but it was heavily lecture based, with much less daily meditation than I would have liked.

Some memorable experiences from the tantric meditation period include being able to hear sound coming from children's playground maybe a block away and somehow profoundly sensing and realizing that I AM THERE. That I am not limited to this body, but rather all by sensual experiences are me, and being me is in this way more flexible than I had previously thought.
Second experience was right after finishing up a mantra/visualization meditation session. As I opened my eyes, I felt as if my body was bigger than my standard flesh-and-bones body. I was sort of gently vibrating all over, and these vibrations were extending beyond the boundaries of my body.

Ok, enough of the past! So, where am I now? I re-read MCTB in the fall 2013 on a bus commuting. I developed quite serious determination to give this thing another try. During christmas holiday I arranged time to meditate every day for maybe two 40min sessions.I try to make time to sit with my eyes closed everyday. 10 minutes is the minimum, but I try to do several 40-50 minutes sessions when personal life allows it. I also pay attention to the sensations when walking, or in the elevator etc, when I remember to do that.

My main short term goal would be to develop insight to the extent that I can understand what people are talking about, when they say everything is vibrating. I think I maybe saw a glimpse of that on 2009 as I described above, but after starting again I haven't gotten much further other than being able to note maybe 2-3 times per second quite consistently. Distractions occur from time to time, depending on the day. I have this bugging feeling that I am not doing it right or something, but after reading the DhO I can't say that I'm doing anything different than people seem to be doing here. It's probably just that I have t be patient and keep doing it!
Samatha-wise I would like to improve my concentration and learn to recognize the different jhanas. At the moment I am at a phase where I think I can attain access concentration maybe 50% of the time. I've used breath, lights behind my eyelids and candle flame as an object.

The visions behind my eyelids are the most recent addition to my list of concentration objects. The first two times I tried, I noticed after about 10-20 minutes that blue circles started to appear at the center of my visual field. I was able to focus on those and noticed a clear shift in my concentration, the background noise disappeared. Success! The next few times I tried doing this I was unable to get anywhere past the initial background noise.

Using candle light as a kasina object was surprisingly productive the first time I tried. I had read Daniel's description of what is supposed to happen (http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB%20Bill%20HamiltonS%20Model?p_r_p_185834411_title=MCTB%20Bill%20HamiltonS%20Model). I didn't expect much, but instead I was sky rocketed exactly through the phases I remembered reading. After closing my eyes I first saw this noisy, textured background. But suddenly a clear red dot was visible and the background noise completely disappeared. I was watching this dot as it chanced color, acquired green and purple rings and I even saw a tiny star circling in the middle! At some point it became completely black and also disappeared. It was a bit hard to keep track of all that was happening, but this experience blew my mind as it was EXACTLY as described, no question about it! The next few times with a candle light didn't even go to the clear, initial blob phase, I was just observing the noisy background. Trying again this week I was able to follow the phases at least three time to the disappearing black dot.

I like to think that I'm somewhat visually oriented. The elaborate visualizations in the vajrayana tradition come relatively natural to me, and I have incorporated these visualizations to my current practice from time to time. For example, I did a certain visualization and mantra recitation recently and at some point the mantra started to feel like massive stone wheel that was rotating heavily in my mind.

The thing I like about MCTB and DhO is to be able to find descriptions of actual meditation experiences and attainments. This sort of thing was completely lacking from the diamond way approach. There were no maps, and any directions on how to meditate were considerably less clear than what I have found here. I asked many times how am I supposed to know I am doing this right, and never got any useful answers. Only after reading extensively afterwards I've come to the conclusion that they, too, were onto something. The method was just not right for me at the time.

I hope to maintain a balanced and healthy attitude towards this meditation thing, and also to keep practicing. This log is to be a reminder of that and also where I was at this time.

Let's see how it goes! emoticon

-J
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 1312 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Jehanne S Peacock:
I've been lurking around DhO a few months now after having rekindled my interest in this thing people call meditation. Time to start my own practice log! emoticon

Welcome to the Dho!
Jehanne S Peacock:
My main short term goal would be to develop insight to the extent that I can understand what people are talking about, when they say everything is vibrating. I think I maybe saw a glimpse of that on 2009 as I described above, but after starting again I haven't gotten much further other than being able to note maybe 2-3 times per second quite consistently. Distractions occur from time to time, depending on the day. I have this bugging feeling that I am not doing it right or something, but after reading the DhO I can't say that I'm doing anything different than people seem to be doing here. It's probably just that I have t be patient and keep doing it!

It looks like you are doing well...keep it up. I've found daily practice to be the best indicator of success in my path...every day getting to the furthest spot you can get and working there with noting and the three characteristics. Phenomena seen clearly, noted to keep from getting into the content and sometimes gently seeing that the sensation/thought is not me, doesn't last, and doesn't satisfy.
Jehanne S Peacock:
Samatha-wise I would like to improve my concentration and learn to recognize the different jhanas. At the moment I am at a phase where I think I can attain access concentration maybe 50% of the time. I've used breath, lights behind my eyelids and candle flame as an object.

Recognizing the different Jhanas takes a bit of repetition thru them and also not getting in your own way intellectually thinking they have to be "more" than what you are experiencing. Yes, fully absorbed descriptions are super obvious and intense but notice the differences every time you feel a shift...notice what the differences are, and especially notice the shifts. Then reread the descriptions and see if there is anything useful. Trust your experiences as they unfold and take notes.
Good luck,
~D
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
Dream Walker:
Jehanne S Peacock:
I've been lurking around DhO a few months now after having rekindled my interest in this thing people call meditation. Time to start my own practice log! emoticon

Welcome to the Dho!

Thanks!

Dream Walker:
It looks like you are doing well...keep it up. I've found daily practice to be the best indicator of success in my path...every day getting to the furthest spot you can get and working there with noting and the three characteristics. Phenomena seen clearly, noted to keep from getting into the content and sometimes gently seeing that the sensation/thought is not me, doesn't last, and doesn't satisfy.

Good to hear you think that emoticon

I did some noting practise this morning on the bus. I scheduled 20 minutes, but unfortunately I found myself sleeping at the end. In the beginning I was able to note quite ok, although I was interrupted by a wandering mind from time to time. Labeling the sensations is a bit tricky for me, cause I tend to swich to auto mode, where I'm just mindlessly repeating the last label. If I'm simply alert and notice different types of sensations, I don't fall into this trap, but then it's possible that the mind starts to drift more easily. I have to look more closely into that. Also during the working day I try remember to pay attention to the bare sensations when I can.
For some reason I kind of take it for granted that the thoughts are not me. I dunno if I'm thinking this somehow funny, but I just don't know how to relate to the idea that my thoughts are somehow me. I don't know what me is, either, so could be that I'm just as confused as the next guy and just don't know how to put in in words emoticon

Dream Walker:
Recognizing the different Jhanas takes a bit of repetition thru them and also not getting in your own way intellectually thinking they have to be "more" than what you are experiencing. Yes, fully absorbed descriptions are super obvious and intense but notice the differences every time you feel a shift...notice what the differences are, and especially notice the shifts. Then reread the descriptions and see if there is anything useful. Trust your experiences as they unfold and take notes.
Good luck,
~D


This is a good tip, not expecting anything more than what you experience. At one point I was very interested in the models and wanted to keenly know where I stood with respect to the models. I assume I don't have enough experience, and therefore I feel like it is easy to get tricked and somehow start to feel that the tiniest experience is somewhere very far in the maps Although I can understand that the contrary as you explained, can occur easily too. At this point I'm thinking more along the lines of "who cares" with regards to the maps. I've found it interesting that I've had a handful of experiences that actually exhibit some sort of recognazible pattern in them, namely the candle light kasina and light behind my eyes.

I had a funny dream the other night. I was meditating and was able to land some sort of concentration state over and over again. The dream was very realistic, I could see only the things I see normally with eyes closed, and the state I landed felt very much like to ones I've experienced. It wasn't a lucid dream or anything but was kinda interesting in any case!

-J
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 1312 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Jehanne S Peacock:
I did some noting practise this morning on the bus. I scheduled 20 minutes, but unfortunately I found myself sleeping at the end. In the beginning I was able to note quite ok, although I was interrupted by a wandering mind from time to time. Labeling the sensations is a bit tricky for me, cause I tend to swich to auto mode, where I'm just mindlessly repeating the last label.
Speed up the noting and see what that does for you.
Jehanne S Peacock:
I had a funny dream the other night. I was meditating and was able to land some sort of concentration state over and over again. The dream was very realistic, I could see only the things I see normally with eyes closed, and the state I landed felt very much like to ones I've experienced. It wasn't a lucid dream or anything but was kinda interesting in any case!
I'm a firm believer in dream work...I look at it as free extra practice. I usually rise up the vipassana jhanas in bed to as high as I can get before drifting off to sleep.
Good luck,
~D
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
Ok, I did 20 minutes of formal noting practise yesterday, with the aim to note as fast as possible. I noticed I was unable to actually label stuff I noted any faster than usually, so I just proceeded with trying to be aware of my attention as is spontaneously touched different things quickly.

Usually, when I have tried to be fast, I've noticed I tend to try to direct my mind from event to event and this leads to a mild panic because I feel I should be noting the next event and I can't seem to find stuff to note quick enough... I know this is silly, all kinds of stuff is happening constantly, so there is never a shortage of things to note!
Anyway, yesterday I was able to note quickly and effortlessly, and with enough skill that I actually felt like I was doing it right, somehow. I noticed a shift, kinda like what I have experience doing samatha practice, where I felt I took a step back inside my head and was watching from there all the noting that took place. Also, the field of perception that was laid out in from of me like a table-like flat surface (I had this feeling that the field was made from Lego brick -like surface) seemed to tremble a tiny bit, which led me to think that maybe this is some sort of pre-effect for all the virbations that's supposed to occur at some point. All in all, it was a good session. Didn't feel like I was stuck and I was highly motivated the whole day. I took every possible 5 minute period of solitude to sit with my eyes closed and try to note as fast as I could.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
Didn't have enough time to sit properly yesterday. I managed some 10 minutes plus trying to note during the day. I know I'm not doing this out-of-the-cushion noting anywhere near as diligently as is possible, but I'll keep trying. I've found that evening walks with the dog are a nice setting for this. It's usually more calm and quiet than in the bus, plus I can't fall asleep while I'm walking emoticon
I have a vague memory that the beginning of the session I was somehow able to feel more concentrated from the start than I was some week before, let's say. I'm not sure, though.

One possibly related thing I noticed yesterday:I got into an argument with someone at home, and I was getting really angry. Normally things could start to get out of hand, me not acting as skillfully as I could (think: throwing stuff etc..) but now I almost automatically stopped what I was about to do. Then I reached for the next "unskillful" thing, but automatically dropped that too. This happened maybe five time consequtively, after which I decided it's time to meditate a bit. The fight was over after that, yay! emoticon
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
The last three days I've done meditation as usual.

On Friday I did some short sessions of noting/generally being aware of stuff and noticed it was very easy and enjoyable to slip into the meditative state. So I arranged the time to sit formally for 20 minutes. The overall feeling was that it was easy and fun.

Saturday I did a 40 minute session and the biggest effect that I noticed was that my shoulders became incredibly stiff right at the beginning of the session. I've never experienced such from meditation, and I was using my standard posture sitting legs crossed on a cushion. I also noticed at some point that I was sitting in a really hunched back posture, and hadn't noticed how it had slipped into that. Overall experienced wasn't happy and enjoyable, but not terribel, either, except for the shoulder stiffness.

That night I had dream that started to transform into a lucid/sleep paralysis kind of state. I recognise this from the twisting sensation that permeates all my experience, and I typically try to resist it, because I've had some extremely frightening experiences under this state. It seems that I finally gave in to the feeling. What happened next was that I was feeling a tingling sensation starting from my chest area that I have occasionally when doing concentration practices. I remember I was flying upwards, my arms wide open like I was flying, looking up, there were these sparkles around me in black space, kind of like fireworks that are about to explode, and I was thinking: "FUCK YEAAH THIS IS IT!!!", thinking about A&P type of thing. Then suddenly I everything returned back to normal, no explosions or anything fancy. So yeah, don't count your chickens before they're hatched emoticon

Sunday I had a rather normal noting session for 20 minutes. I remember being somewhat annoyed by the fact that I may be doing the noting thing not diligently enough. I mean, I have a feeling I am starting to do this noticing more concentration-style than 3 characteristics-style. That I'm actually concentrating on noticing the things changing and appearing and disappearing. I think what got me to suspect this more is the fact that I was perhaps getting a similar jhanic(?) experience as with my eyes closed, namely bluish circles appearing in my center of vision. I've read tips about focusing more on the endings of sensations, and I have been trying to implement that. It's easy to do with passing car sound, or some click coming from household equipment. But it's more difficult to do it with thougts and physical feelings.
I also did a couple of rounds candle light concentration, which turned out to be business as usual.
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 1312 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Jehanne S Peacock:

That night I had dream that started to transform into a lucid/sleep paralysis kind of state. I recognize this from the twisting sensation that permeates all my experience, and I typically try to resist it, because I've had some extremely frightening experiences under this state. It seems that I finally gave in to the feeling. What happened next was that I was feeling a tingling sensation starting from my chest area that I have occasionally when doing concentration practices. I remember I was flying upwards, my arms wide open like I was flying, looking up, there were these sparkles around me in black space, kind of like fireworks that are about to explode, and I was thinking: "FUCK YEAAH THIS IS IT!!!", thinking about A&P type of thing. Then suddenly I everything returned back to normal, no explosions or anything fancy. So yeah, don't count your chickens before they're hatched emoticon
Congrats!...you passed the test (fear overcome this time). You might get some more tests along the way but don't worry about it to much...meditation will get you ready for them.
Jehanne S Peacock:
Sunday I had a rather normal noting session for 20 minutes. I remember being somewhat annoyed by the fact that I may be doing the noting thing not diligently enough. I mean, I have a feeling I am starting to do this noticing more concentration-style than 3 characteristics-style. That I'm actually concentrating on noticing the things changing and appearing and disappearing. I think what got me to suspect this more is the fact that I was perhaps getting a similar jhanic(?) experience as with my eyes closed, namely bluish circles appearing in my center of vision. I've read tips about focusing more on the endings of sensations, and I have been trying to implement that. It's easy to do with passing car sound, or some click coming from household equipment. But it's more difficult to do it with thoughts and physical feelings.
I also did a couple of rounds candle light concentration, which turned out to be business as usual.

Noting will get you to jhanic states too. You are trying to stay in the present by noticing reality present itself with minimal interference of the mind. Concentration tends to exclude reality while you stay in the now. Don't worry about what arises when noting...it's just more things to note. I get visuals too. Note seeing. Note seeing. Note seeing. emoticon
Good luck,
~D
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
I have been doing irregular meditation for the past three weeks. Less formal sitting, more noting and generally being aware during every day activites, plus some occasional visualization stuff while going about my usual business! I have nothing specific to report from those sessions. However, a few things have happened which I'd like to report here for future reference.

I've had a couple of occasions where after a dream I enter into this state which is not quite dreaming and not really awake, either. The characteristic things here are black and white, geometrical visuals which are constantly moving. The black-and-whiteness has a similar visual style as the colors behind the eyelids when keeping eyes closed. What I mean is that the colors ar not very clear and pure, they seem more see-through or like oil on the surface of water. But yet somehow the geometrical patterns are very clear. Black and white squares with smaller, different colored squares in the middle, all lined up and moving like a conveyor belt. Some cogwheel and handheld fan type of visual, with many fine, moving lines were visible on the other occasion.

Before one of these visuals I had a dream, where I visited my dead grandmother's house. I heard someone come in from the door, and exited another door at the same time. This led me to a corridor with three doors, each having a distinguishable creaking sound when opened (old doors!). I remember walking out the third door and thinking about the three characteristics (the dream was very clearly symbolic in this sense) and then I entered the visuals.

I also had my first lucid dream in maybe 15 years! I remember I had this impulse to rip myself out of the normal dream, literally leaping forward, and then I was awake! I was again very excited about this and started to immediately think how to maintain this state. However, very quickly the lucidness began to wane, and I was bag in the sluggish, normal dream. I remember, however, that while I felt completely normal and awake, my perceptual eyes were looking at my physical body from the outside. This didn't strike me odd in the dream. Also, I think immediately after the dream, I had a visual thing, that resembled very much the things I saw before. However, this time the object was a rotating Buddha head!

The last oddity is something that makes me wonder if I should even mention it... But here goes! I was walking outside, listening to a podcast with earphones from my cellphone. These was this big truck type of thing brushing the sand of the street nearby, making it harder for me to actually hear what was said on the podcast. Then I had this crackling sound and felt like I had just received a small electric shock though my earphones! I wondered if maybe the brushes and sand from the vehicle nearby might have caused some static electricity effect, and was also considering maybe removing the plugs from my ears and not have voltage run accross my head, but decided then not to. The effect coudn't have been too dangerous, since I wasn't hook on to any sort of mains power line.

I didn't think it was in any way related to stuff on this forum, but after reading this bit of text from MCTB about A&P I started to wonder:
"Wild “kundalini” phenomena are very common at this point, including powerful physical shaking and releases, explosions of consciousness like a fireworks display or a tornado, visions, and especially vortexes of powerful fine “electrical” vibrations blasting down one's spinal column and/or between one's ears. These vortexes can be very loud. These sorts of experiences can occur quite unexpectedly and even off the cushion, such as in lucid dreams. They may be followed by various mixtures of wonder, excitement, bliss, extraordinary joy, and sometimes disorientation."

Emphasis on the parts that seems to fit my experience.

But yeah, I dunno what the hell that was emoticon
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Florian Weps, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Jehanne S Peacock:
I've had a couple of occasions where after a dream I enter into this state which is not quite dreaming and not really awake, either. The characteristic things here are black and white, geometrical visuals which are constantly moving. The black-and-whiteness has a similar visual style as the colors behind the eyelids when keeping eyes closed. What I mean is that the colors ar not very clear and pure, they seem more see-through or like oil on the surface of water. But yet somehow the geometrical patterns are very clear. Black and white squares with smaller, different colored squares in the middle, all lined up and moving like a conveyor belt. Some cogwheel and handheld fan type of visual, with many fine, moving lines were visible on the other occasion.

Before one of these visuals I had a dream, where I visited my dead grandmother's house. I heard someone come in from the door, and exited another door at the same time. This led me to a corridor with three doors, each having a distinguishable creaking sound when opened (old doors!). I remember walking out the third door and thinking about the three characteristics (the dream was very clearly symbolic in this sense) and then I entered the visuals.

I also had my first lucid dream in maybe 15 years! I remember I had this impulse to rip myself out of the normal dream, literally leaping forward, and then I was awake! I was again very excited about this and started to immediately think how to maintain this state. However, very quickly the lucidness began to wane, and I was bag in the sluggish, normal dream. I remember, however, that while I felt completely normal and awake, my perceptual eyes were looking at my physical body from the outside. This didn't strike me odd in the dream. Also, I think immediately after the dream, I had a visual thing, that resembled very much the things I saw before. However, this time the object was a rotating Buddha head!


Fun! I may have had a similar experience a few years ago. Have a look at these comments on Duncan's blog.

I also remember a rotating head from a dream around that time - but it was a green wireframe skull.

All in all, this sounds like the A&P in all its glory. Enjoy! And be aware that the dukkha ñanas follow this stage like thunder follows lightning, as Daniel puts it.

Cheers,
Florian
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
Florian Weps:


Fun! I may have had a similar experience a few years ago. Have a look at these comments on Duncan's blog.

I also remember a rotating head from a dream around that time - but it was a green wireframe skull.


Cool, thanks for the story emoticon

Florian Weps:
All in all, this sounds like the A&P in all its glory. Enjoy! And be aware that the dukkha ñanas follow this stage like thunder follows lightning, as Daniel puts it.


You're probably right. I'll try to do my best also in the future, and I'll come and report back here when the shit starts hitting the fan, so to speak!

For the record, meditation has been very easy the past days. I look forward to to my timed sits, and I am experiencing no difficulties at all. That is, no physical pains, no problems with mind wander (it occurs, but less frequent and is really "less of a problem"). Let's see how long this continuesemoticon
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
After just a few days from my last post, I experienced a few things that could be relevant.
I regularly walk my dog in a nearby forest that has a decent path with some street lights. We do these walks pretty late, so it's usually dark. Some of the lights are out but I don't really mind as I can manage the familiar way even when it's dark. For the past weeks I've noticed that I've become somewhat scared to walk there when it's dark. I try to be mindful of this situation, and acknowledge what I can actually perceive in the woods, and I also notice how my mind is starting to create all these frightening screnarios. Sometimes I hear various sounds from the dark and my mind tarts to immediately think how someone's there and whether they are coming, or what if there's a rabbit and my dog starts chasing it and I break my leg and the dog gets lost... This goes on and on! I realize that it's just my mind playing tricks, but still don't really feel comfortable being there. The last time I actually decided not to enter the dark part and was just hanging under the last functioning light when it suddenly blacked out emoticon I decided not to enter the woods for a while! emoticon

After my first freafull walk in the woods I was laying in the bed just about to sleep. I was doing nothing in particular when all of a sudden I realized that my mind had displayed a highly detailed little movie clip of a rotting Venus of Willendorf -like corpse with rotting flesh dropping off of the thing. Later that night I had a dream where I entered a room with a massage table and there was a stiffened, gray corpse there with a crooked body and face that looked like it had screamed in agony. None of these imagenes really felt like anything, I wasn't terrified or scared at all. I just observed what was going on.

When doing formal meditation I have noticed that I get distracted by my thoughts very easily. It takes a longer time for me to realize I'm doing this. Sometimes it even feels like there is a strong current of thought that is just overwhelming me, and there is nothing I can do. On some occations, though, I have also been able to access some sort of jhanic states in between the floods of thought. So it's not all bad, but there are clearly periods when it's harder to keep my mind on the task.
I have been trying to think whether or not my concentration is more panoramic than before, but I'm unsure about this. Could be, but it is hard for me to describe with enough detail at this point. One effect I remember from last time I meditated was that I clearly experienced the half sphere of space in front of me. This space didn't extend for maybe more than a meter from my nose but I clearly noticed it's presence there.
I'm not eagerly waiting to get on the cushion, as was the case two weeks ago, but I try to arrange some 20-40 minutes of sitting every day. I have recently started to focus on my breath to practise concentration, and sofar the results have been motivating: I notice some sort of shift fairly quickly and consistently. After that (or if I'm not succesfull at the shift) I try to note as many sensations as I can. I start with mental notes if I have trouble focusing, but move quickly to just silently noticing stuff as they appear.
I've also noticed for the past two days a more positive and determined attitude towards meditation, both formal on-the-cushion and doing short practices throughout the day.
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Florian Weps, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Jehanne

thanks for the report. Textbook stuff really.

Jehanne S Peacock:
One effect I remember from last time I meditated was that I clearly experienced the half sphere of space in front of me. This space didn't extend for maybe more than a meter from my nose but I clearly noticed it's presence there.


Jhanic stuff like this can be an interesting object for investigation: find out what the cues, the sensations are which indicate that there is "space" in front of you. Which cues are telling you about the extent, the direction, the volume? And so on.

Just in case you need motivation to keep up the practice.

Cheers,
Florian
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
Florian Weps:
Hi Jehanne

thanks for the report. Textbook stuff really.


Hey Florian! I agree it's pretty straight from a book emoticon "I must be in dark night"was the first thing I thought when I realized that I'm actually affraid of the dark. "Holy crap I just saw a rotting corpse!" was my second thought an hour later (ok, there were a few other thoughts in between..) and I actually shouted this outloud to my husband in excitement emoticon

Florian Weps:
Jhanic stuff like this can be an interesting object for investigation: find out what the cues, the sensations are which indicate that there is "space" in front of you. Which cues are telling you about the extent, the direction, the volume? And so on.


Yes, I'll have to keep looking closely! Yesterday I actually noticed some weird things that seemed to take place prior to some identifiable things. I think I still suck at noticing very fine effects.I don't even know what I really noticed pre-event, only that it seemed to be reddish and round.Yep emoticon I was actually glad I noticed anything at all! For the record, I think I have been able to notice the intention before the breath and then the mental image of the breath only a handful of times.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
I sat for 15 minutes yesterday. I remember that I watched thoughts come and go, and they seemed to be in front of me, like I'd taken a step backwards and watch from there as the events took place. There were so many random thoughts that even though I was simply observing them as they occurred, I was still irritated and tired to this whole cirqus. I have a vague recollection that this is also textbook stuff..? I also remember that besides just thoughts, I experienced this visual imaginery of my head moving from one side to another and my mouth opening and closing, much like I was talking. Nothing actually happened physically. The experience was more like I had a ghost-body that was doing a thing of it's own, without me having any part in it. I found this to be sort of interesting and informative!

I also took another walk in the dark woods. I was only really scared before entering the woods, but while in, I was ok. Even when another light suddenly blacked out haha emoticon
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
Time for a brief update. After my last post I quickly moved from DN into what I consider to be very clear equanimity. The DN seemed to last only a few days, with the worst thing literally being the scares in the woods. I stayed in the EQ phase a few weeks maybe. Sitting was effortless and I increased my daily sits from 15-30 minutes to up to 2-3 hours. I'ts been too long to remember any of the details, but the overall feeling was that I was simply OK with everything.

Suddenly I dropped back from EQ. There was an incident in my daily life that may have contributed to this. All I know I was meditating 4-5 hours on Sunday, maybe with some resistance and not-so-OK-feelings, and then on Monday and the following week I didn't sit formally at all.

After this point it was very difficult to say where I was map-wise. I had one night when I was again spooked by the wilderness (..aka the acre of woodland in our suburb..) and after that I had a dream where I understood I was dreaming because the surroundings has such a spectacular sheen to them, after which I was drawn flying into a vortex and woke right up.

I have periods lasting days when I don't meditate. Then there are days when I do. I read a post where somebody had been in EQ->re-observation->EQ->re-ob... -cycle for a long time. I re-read the chapters in MCTB on re-observation and EQ and concluded that I might as well adopt the view that that's where I am. Now I'm trying to get my shit back together and meditate no matter what. No matter how tired or busy or headachy I am! 10 minutes a day is my promise. Already sat 45 minutes yesterday with this new resolution emoticon

I do noting. Or maybe I should say, I notice things, but I don't really like to add the mental notes. Not even a smal "dat" because I feel it distrackts me. Sure, I get distracted from being aware quite often actually, but I can rather quickly bring my attention back to the breath while simultaneously being aware of multitude of other things that take place. I'm scratching my head here thinking how to describe my sensate experience while meditating. I'll leave that to some other time!
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Florian Weps, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Jehanne,

Jehanne S Peacock:
Now I'm trying to get my shit back together and meditate no matter what. No matter how tired or busy or headachy I am! 10 minutes a day is my promise. Already sat 45 minutes yesterday with this new resolution emoticon


Good. Keep going.

I do noting. Or maybe I should say, I notice things, but I don't really like to add the mental notes. Not even a smal "dat" because I feel it distrackts me. Sure, I get distracted from being aware quite often actually, but I can rather quickly bring my attention back to the breath while simultaneously being aware of multitude of other things that take place.


Those "getting distracted, getting back" loops are worth a close look. As contradictory as it sounds, you could try to pay attention during them, if you like. Takes a bit of relaxation, attitude-wise as well as body-wise - the kind of going-with-it that 4th jhana also exhibits - i.e. don't get tensed up mentally upon noticing that you wandered or were distracted. Sounds like you might be doing that already, so just keep doing it. Don't let me confuse you.

Cheers,
Florian
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
Florian Weps:
Those "getting distracted, getting back" loops are worth a close look. As contradictory as it sounds, you could try to pay attention during them, if you like. Takes a bit of relaxation, attitude-wise as well as body-wise - the kind of going-with-it that 4th jhana also exhibits - i.e. don't get tensed up mentally upon noticing that you wandered or were distracted. Sounds like you might be doing that already, so just keep doing it. Don't let me confuse you.
Hi Florian,
I think I kind of know what you might mean here. I feel like part of my mind is onborad the whole time the distraction happens. Of course it depends on the occasion. But typically I'm not stressing about it or tensing. However, now that I keep thinking about it, I think there is still a tiny bit of annoyance of not being able to hold my attention in all the time as diligently as "I should". But I'm only maybe 5% annoyed about this, does it make sense? emoticon

The other night while meditating I remember that I had these visual sensations flickering at a constant rate of maybe a few hertz. I realized again that these are probably the vibrations. I keep forgetting what is meant by "sensing vibrations" and seem to think I don't experience them. Now I remembered that I probably do. This flickering had an annoying quality to it, like mental noise or something similarly irritating.

I have also quite often (nearly daily) on the cushion these spontaneus body movements, where suddenly my upper body jerks forwards a bit. It just happens, there is no pre-warning or body sensation preceeding it that I am aware of. It is different than when I have a bad position, an I find that occasionally I correct that position only to realize afterwards that I was supposed to just note it, not do anything about it.

I'm facinated by the idea of looking into what sensations are telling me about the sense of space around me (as suggested by Florian in some previous post in this log). It seems absurd that someone can actually sense something other that "It feels like there is space around me", but I want to learn how to see it.
I had a dream where I was listening to some synthesizer sounds that had very open, spacious, feeling in them. I realized that it is just sound, the "spaceness" is coming from that auditory output, nothing else. I found that this could help me in seeing more closely the sensations that make up space etc. while meditating.
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Florian Weps, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Hi Jehanne,

5% annoyance ... heh emoticon Notice/note/explore/be with/observe/experience it in a relaxed way. Also notice in the same way the interest in quantifying or even minimizing the annoyance.

The space-implying sensations are fascinating to play with! One thing I find cool to do when some "point" or area within the implied volume is somehow more interesting (because it is associated with the location of some sensation maybe), to move attention back and forth along the imaginary line between that point and "this side", and do explore how the sense of distance and movement is implied when doing this.

Or whatever. Seems like you are doing fine. Keep going!

Cheers,
Florian
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 167 Join Date: 2/14/14 Recent Posts
I think I'm getting back into equanimity territory again, after my fall from there previously this summer. This is just initial speculation based mostly on the fact that it has been easier to get more sitting time done lately. We'll see how it turns out in the future. I must say, however, that it took a lot more time to climb back up the latter after my fall then I somehow thought. Had I known this, I would have kept a daily practise going on for those two weeks that I slacked and didn't sit formally at all... I promise to do better next time ;)

Anyhow!

The reason for this update was mostly to record a nice thing that occurred during yesterdays sit (only 15 minutes this time, I have been sitting several times a day 20-30 minutes at a time). I sat down to do some noting (I actually decided to do the actual notes, as I tried it once and was apparently served with much finer sensations to note as a result. Basically I do on-and-off noting and just noticing currently) and let my focus rest on the sensations that make up the blackness/space/surrounding volume that was there. I couldn't really say what I was sensing, despite the blackness, until I noticed a slow pulsation centered somewhere around the left bottom corner of my visual field. This was going on at around once per second or slower. It was as if the space itself was vibrating somehow allthought I didn't "feel" the space physically in the same sense as I have felt during some "peak"experience, but this is the best I know how to describe it!
I got interested and wanted to explore it more closely. "What the hell is this thing?" I was thinking. Then I apparently broke my concentration a little, and noticed that the pulsating was in the same rythm as my breath. HA! I had noticed my breath in the abstract, continuously-flowing, counterpart-image samadhi -style! Or at least this I how I imagine it goes emoticon
I then decided to will myself to higher jhanas, and probably was able to access the second, maybe even the third.

This was cool to me, because I haven't lately been able to get into jhana even if I've tried. And now it happened without the effort. Although I was trying to do noting... emoticon
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Florian Weps, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Hi Jehanne,

thanks for the update. Keep going!

Cheers,
Florian
marvelous light, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Florian Weps:
Hi Jehanne,

thanks for the update. Keep going!

Cheers,
Florian

Hi Florian ! 

How are you ? Do you still get online ? Do you fb ? Can we talk ?
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Jehanne S Peacock:

I got interested and wanted to explore it more closely. "What the hell is this thing?" I was thinking. Then I apparently broke my concentration a little, and noticed that the pulsating was in the same rythm as my breath. HA! I had noticed my breath in the abstract, continuously-flowing, counterpart-image samadhi -style! Or at least this I how I imagine it goes emoticon

Did some reading and aparently the counterpart image (nimitta) is supposed to be something visual in case of the breath. So never mind what I said before...

In any case the pulsation keeps on coming. Yesterday it began some 5 seconds into my cushion time. I checked that it wasn't my breath and not my heartbeat. It was about 1 Hz, smooth pulsating feeling on the bottom of my "mental canvas", maybe this time it felt a bit more like it was something happenin in my body, on the chest/neck area.
The overall feeling in this sitting was that the mind was somehow extra clear and crisp almost the entire time.
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Not Tao, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Ok, I just had to mention that your corpse dreams sounded very familiar.  Like, they aren't even scary, more like "Really?  This is just a little mellodramatic..."  Haha, good times.

Edit: BTW, I love your name. emoticon 
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Not Tao:
Ok, I just had to mention that your corpse dreams sounded very familiar.  Like, they aren't even scary, more like "Really?  This is just a little mellodramatic..."  Haha, good times.


Funny how they seem to be sort of iconic, many people have these quite similar images appear at similar stages of insight... Actually I think that's just very cool!
And even though no fear or disgust was attached to these images, I have experienced fear arise independently. So the mind does have the tendency to display all sorts of shows. It helps a lot to just realize that these things are going on on their own, and not give them any more meaning than that.

Not Tao:
Edit: BTW, I love your name. emoticon 

Haha, thanks emoticon
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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I decided to start keeping a more detailed practice log of my sits. Thought was inspired by Jen Pearly. Feels like something useful to do!

In yesterday's 15 minute sit I observed a similar kind of slow pulsating sensation at the bottom of my field of vision like I reported before. Only difference was that this time it was completely out of sync with the breath! Is this what is meant by "feeling that reality is out of sync" or is this something else entirely?

Also I noticed once again that letting go and not striving too hard just might be something to do. I did noting. It felt a bit forced as I tried to be as fast as possible. Then I decided to just wait and observe until some sensation was banging by doors of perception so hard it would not go unnoticed. After maybe 5 of these "relaxed" notes I began to feel a sort of ZOOM quality in my head, like this was going some where, this was progress, something was changing, I was doing it right.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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After my struggle and resolution to keep sitting no matter what, things have improved somewhat. I'm fairly certain I had moved back to EQ, and indeed my sits have become longer in duration. Now I often sit half an hour, whereas it used to be 10 minutes some weeks/moths ago. Even if I'm ofterwise "busy" and set the timer to 15 min, I usually end up doubling that time after the bell. Also sitting is much more comfortable and I can sit the whole time without any discomfort. I observe some involutary body swaying occasionally, but it is just spontaneous and not related to any discomfort. I think I also noticed a few times clearly going through the stages of insight: body discomfort for 3C's, tingling and pleasantness for A&P, then some weird stuff I identified with DN, and then very clear EQ.

What started as EQ-peacefullnes has recently taken another feeling. I'm not sure anymore where I am. I have so much thoughts coming in all the time, and it seems my concentration on the task at hand has gone down. I keep guiding my attention back to noticing stuff as they appear and disappear, the feelings of space and the feelings of being aware, but friggin' 3 seconds later I'm thinking enthusiastically what to do for dinner or work stuff. Regardless, I think I'm doing the thing I'm supposed to be doing and there's not much else for me to do. I don't mean to complain as I have a matter-of-factly attitude towards these interuptions. It seems that this is the way mind works, period. So it's ok.

I have noticed a sort of equanomous attitude towards emotions. Example no. 1 from regular life: I found a dead month in my kitchen and picked it up to throw it away. I sensed strong repulsion several times (those stiff tiny but huge legs ugghh! and the furry sausage-body!!1), but somehow I wasn't repulsed. Like the repulsion didn't have an effect on me, even though it was there. No face flinching or anything. Just some pulses of "there's the repulsion again" but not affected in any way. Except that every time that feeling arose, my ears would go clogged/plugged/temporarily deaf (hope somebody gets what I'm aiming at here, I lack the correct english term), which normally I don't experience when feeling repulsion. That was interesting!
Example no. 2 was when doing formal sitting. I had this sensationof going really really fast, like ultra speed space ship, and I noticed a srong feeling of being afraid that I would get bugs in my mouth while flying (emoticon). But at the same time I wasn't actually afraid at all, I would just feel that a sensation "afraid" was present, but it couldn't get to me.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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I've been comtemplating about cycling through the stages of insight. It seems part of my confusion about "where I am" was due to the fact that I wasn't paying enough attention to the way these stages present themselves. I had started to believe I was in EQ, but then my following experiences didn't quite match up to that, which then led to confusion.

So, I've done some experimenting!

I decided to specifically look for any signs of insight stages and whether I see myself cycling through them. It's only been a couple of times I've tried this, but it seems that looking at the process like this I fall actually pretty easy into equanimity within 15 to 30 minutes.

A typical session is something like this: I start and don't feel anything special, some thoughts here and there, everything is pretty ok and hard to describe. I observe my breath at the nostrils, focusing on that the whole time while looking for anything else that come up. But I always come back to the breath, so I don't get carried away with thoughts. Then I observe what might be called seeing the intention before the act of in/out breath. Again, I can't explain this with much more detail, but there is some part of my experience that seems to be the same before each in and out breath. After this I usually get a few jerks and twiches, nothing major but still I count it as three characteristics because as far as I know, that's what it is! Next follows A&P which consists of some tingling and blissfull sensations around the torso and head, I feel great and everything is clear and wonderful. Then Dark night sets in, I notice it first by the weird sensation like every small sensation is out of harmony, kinda feels like some odd jazz tune. I try to pay attention carefully to fear, misery, disgust etc, and sometimes I sense small traces of these, like a scary rotten image, or a sense of sorrow, slight nausea. Nothing terribly unsetling, but just some small indications that allow me to label this phase as Dark night. Then arises Equanimity with a sense of everything quieting down. I feel tranquil and I start loosing feeling of having a body, or it is lessened a great deal. The feeling is just nice, but I do notice some aspects of it that are stressfull.

Yesterday while at this EQ phase, my alarm clock went off I just coudn't bother turning it off. I was just staying in that state, listening to the alarm for quite some time, observing all the sublte emotions that came up. Eventually I got annoyed and turned the alarm off, but decided to continue the sit. I then observed what I thought was sliding back the stages of insight to DN, A&P and pre-A&P stage. Then I got up.

I'll continue along these lines also next time, since it seemed effective. I was able to sense very subtle feelings and thoughts and aversions throughout the sit, each becoming more subtle as I went up the ladder of insight stages. I came naturally to contemplating space and volume and those sorts of things towards the EQ.
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Florian Weps, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Jehanne

cool! If you are able to observe the ñanas at this level of clarity, you might also appreciate the Ñana/Jhana correspondences. One possible way to line them up:

1st Jhana - ñana 1
2nd Jhana - ñana 4
3rd Jhana - ñana 5
4th Jhana - ñana 11

Have fun, keep going!

Cheers,
Florian
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Hi Florian!

Thanks for the reminder of the ñana/jhana-correspondence. While moving up the ñanas I can see quite clearly how "the atmosphere" changes and I do equate this to moving to different jhanas. It's still a bit difficult for me to remember what all these jhanas or ñanas are supposed to be like, and it does require many many repetitions. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it, though! 
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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I decided to post when a year and a day has passed since my last post. We're almost there, but the time to post seems to be now. Actually I'm not sure what to write as it is completely unclear to me what I want to achieve with this. Main motivation seems to be to actually help others, and while I have been thinking about this for almost a year, it is very uncelar to me still how to actually be of any help to anybody. The only thing I've come up with, is to share some bits of my story and hope it provides the correct encouragement to those in need.

What happened sometime last fall was that somebody how knows me very well said to me quite bluntly "what the hell are you talking about achieving stream entry? You're obviously way past that already!" I realized that yes, based on the knowledge I've obtained about all the states and stages and whatnot, I can't really seriuously think that I would be pre-stream entry. And this conlucion has stayed with me ever since then.
Around that time I also had a very strong realization that I alone am responsible for my development and in some very profound way I cannot be helped by anyone. I can read stuff from other people, sure, but reading is not the same as actually having stuff happening in me. I lost my obsession to read the dho and related stuff. I also stopped sitting on a regular basis. I feel more like I'm in a constant state of being aware of all the sensations. So it's more like I'm meditating constantly. I do sit formally from time to time, and it does feel appropriate.

I also finally got what was the talk about noself, and I might formulate my current state easily by saying that I don't think there is anybody there making the doing. I'm perfectly happily letting everything unfold as it does. One of the high-points that fall related to the noself-stuff was a talk by Krishnamurti, Bohm et al. where a quote "there is no security" by Krishnamurti really resonated with me (the video is probably this one, for those interested in the series https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wYjb_5oRdg).

Now I'm just feeling pretty damn good, even though I do feel pretty damn bad some days emoticon

I liked very much this post by Fitter: Phenomenology of "3rd path" - response to Daniel. It had a similar feel to it as the kind I'm feeling.

I feel like I am not searching or aiming actively for anything right now. I'm just very neutrally content with what I am having, and I wish the same for others. I know first hand how utterly useless any advice is in the midst of all sorts of emotional turmoil. I have been given the excact same advice in the middle of difficulties and at times when I am able to get it, and I have not been able to get any help from that advice during difficult times - at least not directly, not in the manner that I had hoped that advice should have helped me ;)

That's about all that I have to say at this point. Best of luck, happiness and such to everyone emoticon
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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I think I've mentioned here previously that I have a hard time grasping what people actually mean when they talk about self and no-self. I think I've recently come to an understanding regarding these concepts. This understanding has more to do with understanding what people refer to when they say various things than my own view of myself and awakening. To say it in different terms, I think I've been in the no-self mode for years now. But only now has it really dawned on me how my experience translates into language. To give an example I've had a hard time understanding what Daniel Ingram means when he speaks about sensations" here" and sensations "over there". I could sort of understand but this just didn't quite click for me. When I stumbled upon Loch Kelly and listened to some of his talks and some pointers/ glimpses of heart awareness, I recognized that my main mode of being has been this heart awareness, not being identified with a "watcher inside my head who is doing things". In this state there is no me, no sensations here and other sensations there, it's all kinda the same and "things happening where they are" to quote Daniel.

I've thought previously that I haven't really gained any permanent shifts since I still manage to get into ugly fights with my loved ones occasionally and seem to loose what ever good I've gained momentarily. However, I just realized that even during the nastiest fights I'm actually observing the situation from this outside perspective, from this awareness. Heck I even talk about it during the figh, but for some reason it's not really helping the situation emoticon So even though the situation stirs me up physically, there is a part that is not strirred, this awareness thing. That was a pretty cool thing to realize. I need to keep working on the other mundane aspects though. You know, not being a dick!

If I understand correctly this thing is called rigpa in Tibetan buddhism. I'm not sure if I meet their qualifications excatly. On one hand I'm not really into trying to define stuff rigorously in these matters and on the other hand I have not looked at myself from this perspective for long. I'm pretty confident in asserting that I'm never in an "identifying with a separate self" -sort of mode however.

Life is just generally very good and I feel done. Yet I have not had any clear shifts that I can remember. I don't know what a fruition is. I don't know if I mentioned this here previously, but one time I wondered wether I've had a fruition: I was standing at the cashier in a grocery store watching my groceries on the conveyor belt. I was waching the whole time and suddenly all my stuff was half a meter more forward than it had just been. I didn't notice anything else. I tried checking for bliss wave, but if it was there it was just minibliss, maybe caused by the excitment of possible fruition. Regardless of any fruitions or not, I'm happy the way I am now, so now nagging underlying uncertainties there.

I'm just reporting in the hope that maybe some day someone will find this useful!

 -J
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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One more thing I gotta mention. I like the term surrender, I find it fitting. I realize that many people don't like it at all, for obvious reasons I guess. On jhanajenny. com I found this:
Just a practice note here–One change since the awakening of July that
I’ve been sort of adjusting to is the loss of the “hair on fire” urgency
to practice and “get somewhere.” Although it is true, if paradoxical,
that before the central processor-subject reference point drops out it
helps to try not to try to get somewhere, still that odd prescription makes total sense only
after the attainment comes. In other words, until there is no
more reason to try, there will be, on some level, effort to get
somewhere. I would say, instead, that total honesty is even more important than total surrender. In fact, direct seeing, fierce honesty, is the surrender.
The emphasis is mine. I like how this seems to describe surrendering more the way I view it, and less in a suspicous surrender-to-the-shady-guru- type of way.

EDIT: I found this as a draft, probably didn't publish accidentally. Here it is.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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For the past week or two I've been doing formal guru yoga meditation (16th Karmapa as I've been taught). Off the cushion every time I remember I create the same visualization and receive the blessings of the Om A Hung syllabels.

I notice varioous things when doing the practise.

-Occasionally when silently repeating the mantra it feels a though there is a whole choire of monks chanting with me
-I realized that I tend to visualize seeing my body and the Guru as a third person perspective. I tried vizualizing from the point of view of my own eyes as well. That was different, obviously, but I'm not sure that either of the methods is the preferred one.
-I noticed I had skipped the part where I visualize my head, throat and chest filled with the colored lights. Doing it felt super effective, but I notice later that I still forget it do it almost always.

While sleeping I have been seeing these vivid moving geometric patterns I remember I described also some time before here They are black and white with some green/reddish hues, like seeing white illuminated by colored lights. I googled a bit at found that these might be related to some hypnagocic state before enetering sleep. I thought this was pretty cool because I've been trying to cultivate more awareness when going to sleep. I usually fall asleep so quickly I don't even realize that I'm falling asleep. I've been trying to culvtivate that.

The other night I had a dream about some pirate ship under attack. Afterwards I felt like I was awake but was having these vivid thoughts about being in the water and had some fear of a sharks. I then confronted the fear and decided instead to imagine as vividly as I could how it would feel like to be eaten alive by a shark. Very soon, after I had barely begun this excercise, I found myself having these geometric visuals again! They reappeared also later that night, but I can't remember any details.

Also for the past months or so I have been seeing almost constantly these moving small dots of light every time I look at the blue sky.

Today I'm fighting with a lot of cynicism and resentment towards all things so I'll just stop here and go do something useful, like some Guru yoga emoticon
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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I think there may have been a baseline shift and attainment of a new bhumi. Yes, I'm tracking progress now according to the open heart bhumi model, and as a starting hypothesis I began at bhumi 2 in August. This was my own guess and I also asked for a mapping and second bhumi was the result of that evaluation too.

A few weeks after that I already had the first thought that my baseline perception seems a bit differenet. I was then also able to really remember what the feeling of a baseline was before the possible shift. Now I can't remember anymore what it was like in detail. I have a feeling that the "point of looking out" has risen somewhat, to what I would guess is third bhumi. I was looking at myself in the mirror yesterday, paying close attention to the 6 first bhumis spread evenly between eye level and top of the head. In the exact middle, third point, I felt some an internal "beep beep beep" amd some sort of mild almost visual sensation of something being different here. Hard to explain but these are rather subtle matters and I'm not taking myself too seriously either, for those who might be concerned that I'm just kidding myself. I'm just casually reporting some random stuff here :]

Other things I've noticed lately:
- I have not been emotionally shaken by certain events and discussions that previously would have propelled me into a crazy argument and slamming the doors type of behaviour
-While sitting in the bus eyes open I noticed I was entering jhana and basically meditating without actually meaning to, as I tend to fall asleep while commuting in the afternoon no matter what what I do. Now I've stayed eyes open without any intention to do anything for the past couple of days not falling asleep.

Thats's about it! I still sit twice a day for 30 or 40 mins (once if it's very hectic at home and at work), doing basically guru yoga.  The perceived "quality" of the sits varies but I manage to do them anyways.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Hello practice log!

I'm toying again with the idea of another baseline shift/bhumi.

A few weeks ago I suddenly realized that I'm having a tougher time in my life in general in a dark night kinda way. Nothing major, though, but enough for me to realize and wonder if perhaps there could be another baseline shift coming if I kept on practicing. And I did keep on practicing almost as usual. Certain conditions in my life did not allow my regular morning routine to continue, but I did my best and now I am in a much more open and easy place than while back. In addition I have this sensing of something happening at the physical level where my "experiencing" seems to be located. It is perceived to be a bit higher up inside the head as before. Well, can't be sure of course, but that was the impression. The whole "event" was similar than the last shift I reported in my previous post. 

I had an interesting morning session today. I had settled down to meditation, did my mantras and guru yoga, and then I discovered something new. I had a conceptual thought coming to my mind dividing attention and awareness as separate things. I know this, of course, but now along with the thought I was somehow also experiencing this with utmost clarity. It was like my mind was separated from the attention part, and all that was present was the awareness. The term "awake awareness" floated into my mind and I felt it strongly resonated with what I was experiencing. The whole 30 min sit I was in this state. It was actually a bit difficult to return to normal mode since at first I had trouble recognizing my physical head and body. I soon found the right sensations but I have never had an experiece quite like it. It was clear and very equanomous. I will keep on doing what I do as it seems like the way to go.
shargrol, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Nice! Yes attention is very subtly different from awareness. Attention is actually a form of control at a very subtle level. Some traditions include attention in "storehouse consciousness" in other words the very instinctual deep structures of consciousness.

Metaphysics aside and more practically speaking: you can play with this by using less effort in sits and watching how the mind goes in and out of attention/clarity -- and you "know" that. So this knowing is deeper than qualities of mind that we tend to identify as self, especially clarity and attention.

Hope this helps!
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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shargrol:
Nice! Yes attention is very subtly different from awareness. Attention is actually a form of control at a very subtle level. Some traditions include attention in "storehouse consciousness" in other words the very instinctual deep structures of consciousness.

Metaphysics aside and more practically speaking: you can play with this by using less effort in sits and watching how the mind goes in and out of attention/clarity -- and you "know" that. So this knowing is deeper than qualities of mind that we tend to identify as self, especially clarity and attention.

Hope this helps!
Thanks Shargol! I am familiar with this knowing aspect, and can typically be aware of it. Or it is aware of itself, whatever ;) Sometimes it's more obvious and sometimes less. The awareness part seems to be more without any qualities and change, whereas attention has this quality of effort (going places) and control (as you also mention), which feels sort of tiresome and "phony", not the real thing.
shargrol, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Cool! For what it's worth, I would say it's not particularly useful to see attention as being "wrong" in some way. Rather it's another mind object, albeit a sublte one that takes very strong practice to see.

Ultimately, the controlling and effort of it is probably more from the identification with it, rather than attention itself controlling or efforting. Reality continues to arise the way it will, including moments of attention, including sensations that feel like we direct attention... but ultimately what attention "is" falls within the middle path -- neither no self or all self, neither no control or all control, neither no effort or all effort, etc.

The main point in seeing it is not really to get rid of it, but rather to be clearer that attention, which normally feels very much like self, also has a not-self side to it.

 
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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shargrol:
Cool! For what it's worth, I would say it's not particularly useful to see attention as being "wrong" in some way. Rather it's another mind object, albeit a sublte one that takes very strong practice to see.
Yes, I agree.
shargrol:
Ultimately, the controlling and effort of it is probably more from the identification with it, rather than attention itself controlling or efforting. Reality continues to arise the way it will, including moments of attention, including sensations that feel like we direct attention... but ultimately what attention "is" falls within the middle path -- neither no self or all self, neither no control or all control, neither no effort or all effort, etc.

The main point in seeing it is not really to get rid of it, but rather to be clearer that attention, which normally feels very much like self, also has a not-self side to it.
I could have maybe expressed my thoughts in a different way. When I say "control and effort" in this case, I meant something subtly unsatisfying like in the case of noticing the unsatisfactoryness in EQ (I probably mentioned this to Florian somewhere up this thread) even though in some sense it is also quite satisfying. Just not in a dribbling-like-a-pot-of-honey sorta way that is just too much to bear and thus clearly unsatisfying.

But you made an interesting point about the identification! Some subtle identification might actually be taking place in attention, and not in the awareness. That's maybe why the "only awareness" state felt so nice emoticon

It has actually dawned on me quite clearly that that I am not in control of anything, not my intentions or my attention or anything. But that does not feel accurate, either. I haven't really put into words how I view these things..
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Kim Katami, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Been lurking and reading Jehanne's log for a while emoticon

Intention (one-dimensional) - Attention (three-dimensional) - Awareness (zero-dimensional/beyond dimensionality)

I feel these three are a continuum. They are both practices and principles. In intention and attention there is effort which are absent from awareness. I feel it is the effort which make the two former feel burdensome. That effort begins to feel something extra and needless the more awareness becomes flesh. But because the mess is great and compulsive, is the reason why the principles of intention and attention are needed and useful.

Awareness is home. As the Tibetans I've called it rigpa but it is foreign language which brings in the element of "Ooh, something mystical and exalted". Therefore, I've used it with mixed feelings emoticon

Anyway, I think too much emphasis on "emptiness", "transparency" and "no qualities" can and does actually give artificial colouring to the experience itself. Yes, awareness is empty of self and transparent but it is also brimming with life. Being aware is like living in a jungle, in a rain forest. There is so much life in a rain forest! Alive! As is rigpa. Not dead, not dull, not blank. If we connect with awareness from the head space only, it is clear, transparent and pronouncedly empty of self. But the aspect of aliveness, or love, makes a connection with the rest of the body, especially the heart space, without excluding the head. Head and heart together. Clarity and aliveness joined. Manjushri and Avalokiteshvara having a party together. Good music, dancing, enjoying, some drinks and tasty food emoticon

Some scribblings of mine in reg. to different doorways to rigpa.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Kim Katami:

Intention (one-dimensional) - Attention (three-dimensional) - Awareness (zero-dimensional/beyond dimensionality)

I feel these three are a continuum. They are both practices and principles. In intention and attention there is effort which are absent from awareness. I feel it is the effort which make the two former feel burdensome. That effort begins to feel something extra and needless the more awareness becomes flesh. But because the mess is great and compulsive, is the reason why the principles of intention and attention are needed and useful.

This is the feeling I'm also getting from my experience, although very subtly and it's not like I am hanging around in this nice "awareness space" all the time! But slowly getting there!
I didn't quite understand your last sentence, though.

Getting rid of control and effort have definately been the key terms defining and describing my practice! They nicely team up with patience, which is another favourite virtue of mine emoticon
Kim Katami:

Awareness is home. As the Tibetans I've called it rigpa but it is foreign language which brings in the element of "Ooh, something mystical and exalted". Therefore, I've used it with mixed feelings emoticon

Anyway, I think too much emphasis on "emptiness", "transparency" and "no qualities" can and does actually give artificial colouring to the experience itself. Yes, awareness is empty of self and transparent but it is also brimming with life. Being aware is like living in a jungle, in a rain forest. There is so much life in a rain forest! Alive! As is rigpa. Not dead, not dull, not blank. If we connect with awareness from the head space only, it is clear, transparent and pronouncedly empty of self. But the aspect of aliveness, or love, makes a connection with the rest of the body, especially the heart space, without excluding the head. Head and heart together. Clarity and aliveness joined. Manjushri and Avalokiteshvara having a party together. Good music, dancing, enjoying, some drinks and tasty food emoticon

Some scribblings of mine in reg. to different doorways to rigpa.

Sounds good! emoticon I've read the linked post before and found it quite useful. I've been trying to connect to all three of the doorways in succession during my sits. It's nice how finding something written out like this, in clear concepts, can help one's practise in a very concrete way. Thank you!

Another practice note:
After my previous fantastic sit I ofcourse had an absolute shit session right after that, hehe. Well, this morning was a bit better already from the start. I still wasn't quite so clearly in the "clear awareness, not so much caring about attention" sort of space. But then I remembered my old friend 16th Karmapa and opened up welcoming him. Immediately it was like a veil of darkness had been lifted. I could actually feel it being raised from my feet over my head. It was wonderful, just as Kim described, clear and lively and lovely. And that was due to relaxing effort and needs and stuff like that, just surrendering.
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Kim Katami, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Jehanne S Peacock:
...It's nice how finding something written out like this, in clear concepts, can help one's practise in a very concrete way. Thank you!


You're welcome emoticon

We did some workshopping today on these topics. Maybe it's helpful as well.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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Had a cool dream again! I was in a large crowd. Suddenly a freaky little fella (think Quasimodo or a goblin of some sort) about a meter high started to approach me and was actually pushing against my leg staring at me in the creepiest possible manner. I felt stong uneasiness. Then I heard a voice inside my head saying something like I should should accept the situation and not resist. So I did that. For a second I experienced all the unpleasantless of the situation but then the scene changed. Now I was sleeping in my own bed and from the point where this goblin was leaning at me I felt an out of body experience arising!  My legs were leaving the body, raising upwards and I was thinkg "Ok cool, an OBE for a change". There was uneasiness at first, but I let it be and the uneasiness subsided quickly and became just a neutral feeling, so not excited, either. I didn't manage to leave my body fully, only the lower body was floating. The experience changed to these familiar visuals of geometric black and white patterns. When I see them, I try to use them as concentration objects and remain alert and aware. This lasted maybe a minute or so and then I fell asleep.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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For the past two weeks my meditation has been mostly daydreaming and getting lost in thought. Like I mentioned before I experienced a distinction between awareness and attention very vividly two weeks ago so I know for a fact that this sort of mode is accessible and possible. And it is my *intention* to try and observe this awareness side of the experience. But random thoughts about interior design and work related boring stuff are the thing on my mind.

So I am constantly preoccupied by thoughts and daydreaming, constantly stuck with the attention part of experience and feeling my eyes as the "source" or "centerpoint" of this attention. What I try to do is very gently poke and probe this sensation, relax my muscles, look at the thing itself noticing the vantage point that seems to be the cognizing part of it all.
This morning I was able to get past the distraction of not being properly focused in the meditation and got some glimpse of a letting go of attention. It felt kinda like first being very centered like the hole in a donut and then the attention thing gets a bit wider and more relaxed and then I'm feeling more like being spread around the donut in a not-centered sort of way. This probably sounds way more weird than it actually was. Also the intensity of the experience wasn't as remarkable as two weeks ago but then again I'm not looking for thrills and intensive experiences!
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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I think I'm in A&P territory. Interest in powers/telephathy/dreams/weird stuff, sleeping less, feeling energetic. Last night I awoke after 4 hours of sleep and decided to meditate sitting in my bed. After snacking and reading a bit I decided to try a little dream incubation. So I asked to be taken in a dream to a teacher that can show me some truth that will aid my practise. I didn't catch sleep until maybe two hours later. What I saw:

I was in a zoo, in some sort of a concrete pen with a water element in it. I was there with a raging elephant, running away and jumping trying to get out of it's way. At least twice I was able to ride the elephant. What I did then was skratch him behind his ears, hoping to sooth him. I wasn't sure in the dream if he liked or not, but it felt like the only thing I knew how to do in the situation. I din't feel fear, but I was worried and imagined vividly what it would be like to be crushed by the elephant.

After I woke up, I asked to have another dream to clarify the first one. I did have a second dream but unfortunately I couldn't remember it even right after waking up from it.

Curiously, I'm listening to the "Seth speaks" audio book linked by Tom Moylan. In this mornings episode, chapter 9, there was a mention of dreams, animals, and the meaning of what one is doing to/with the animal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ7opNSutQU&index=10&list=PLEi01rSbHli_s9EnECvsfc6_Ylb42j5jA around 25-37 minutes.

Happy to hear any interpretation anyone is willing to offer emoticon
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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 My practice has evolved from guru yoga to a combination consisting of visualizations, mantras, chakra techniques and ati yoga since I received the proper initiation couple of weeks ago. So far I've enjoyed the new practice (still doing some guru yoga occasionally) and have only one notable effect to report: The second the initiation was over I noticed a really severe jaw pain / muscle crap on my chewing muscles. This has persisted, not all the time so noticable, but became worse again today after a formal sit. Also my back muscles have been really blocked and sore even though I haven't done any training that might have caused that. So I searched the forum and came up with the Three Characteristics stage! Sounds familiar so maybe that's where I'm at, assuming that things keep correlating to any meaningfull degree when following a different system then what MCTB is about.

Another funny thing was that when I moved on to read about the next stage, A&P, immediately along with the description of the stage my jaw pain and muscles tensions literally melted away. After some minutes, they came back, but I seem to have gotten another solid dose of mind affecting matter. This also reminds me of an old thread where Tarin Greco said
are you starting to get the sense that any place in the cycles can lead to any other place? if so, it may be telling of something. where is it that you must be, right now, if no matter where you are, you can get anywhere else from there directly? hint: it's only ever one possible place.
Another thing that might be relevant to mapping and stages is that yesterday I remember being painfully embarrassed about hinting about any progress made this fall as I felt no progress has been made and I was just being stupid. Some DN stuff maybe? So, if anything, I'm all over the place and have nothing more to say about it than "Well, there you go! emoticon"

Despite the pains and aches the sits have been pleasant and concentration has been relatively strong.

Also enoying still a lot the Seth material linked by Tom Moylan on another thread. A lot of talk about mind affecting matter accross time and space. I stongly resonate with this type of stuff.
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 4 Years ago.

RE: Jehanne's practice log

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I did a quick fire kasina exercise yesterday while my friend went for a cigarette. So I really only stared at the candle for a minute and the closed my eyes and turned away from the flame for a few minutes. I saw the usual imagery, but what triggered this log entry was that I saw something new!

At the phase where the dot turns black, I typically don't see anything speacial around the outside ot the dot, (fancy complex 3D lines and fractals and whatnot). But yesterday the black dot appeared to have glowy yellow wings. And while I was obserwing them, the right most wing moved quickly to the right outside the mental canvas. That's when I quit, as my friend came back inside. I even draw a picture of the dot with wings attached here.
Some 5 minutes later while looking at my phone, I could still see a dark dot on top of the lit screen (only much larger at this point).